600 Legacy a Big Part in Roush Fenway’s ‘25 Winning Years’
Team looks for fifth win in famed event; 21st NASCAR win at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. (May 23, 2012) – Former Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin used a furious charge through lapped traffic to hold off an fast advancing Matt Kenseth to win the 2002 Coca-Cola 600 and secure RFR’s fourth consecutive victory in NASCAR’s longest event. In a race that perhaps signified the soon upcoming changing of the guard for NASCAR’s winningest team, Martin held off the young Kenseth, but his protégé had learned well and would go on to capture Roush Fenway’s first Sprint Cup title a year later in 2003.
Roush Fenway Racing will look for its fifth win in the 600 this Sunday night when the green flag drops on this season’s Coca-Cola 600 at the 1.5- mile speedway that has become a hot bed for RFR success over the past 25 seasons.
Roush Fenway won a record four Coca-Cola 600’s in a row from 1999-2002. During that time Roush Fenway Fords led 427 laps, including 201 of 400 laps in the 1999 race, with Jeff Burton bringing home the organization’s first victory in the 600-mile race.
Roush Fenway cars have made 85 starts in the famed event, having turned in 20 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes. Roush Fenway has posted an average finish of 16.5 in 24 Coke 600s at Charlotte and an average start of 21.8.
Overall, Roush Fenway has led a total of 1,124 laps in the race, having led in 19 of the 24 600-mile events. Roush Fenway has led at least one lap in 12 of the last 13 Coca-Cola 600 races, including 221 laps last season, when all four of the Roush Fenway’s Fords led in the race. Kenseth led a race- high 103 last season and Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle combined to leave 111 more.
The 221 laps is the most laps RFR has ever led in a Coca-Cola 600 and the 103 laps is the most a Roush Fenway driver has led in the race since Burton led 125 in the 2001 victory.
In addition to the four wins in the 600, Roush Fenway has finished runner up four times in the event, including a pair of second-place finishes by Matt Kenseth and a runner-up finish last season by David Ragan in the No. 6 Ford.
The team had perhaps its best overall outing in the Coke 600 in 2006, when its five entries averaged a 5.4 finish. Roush Fenway Fords finished third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth, while leading 52 laps in the event. In 2002, Roush Fenway posted its only one-two finish in the event with Martin and Kenseth’s feverish battle for the win and combining to lead 67 laps in the race.
Four in a Row; Recapping Roush Fenway’s 600 wins
1999 – Three Roush Fenway cars led in the race, including a race-high 198 laps by Jeff Burton as he and the No. 99 team brought home the organization’s first 600 win, leading two Roush Fenway cars in the top three of the night.
2000 - Matt Kenseth won the first of his 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in the 2000 Coca-Cola 600, leading 32 laps in his first career 600.
2001 – Jeff Burton led 125 laps and brought home Roush Fenway’s third consecutive Coke 600 victory, on a night that saw two Roush Fenway cars finish top five and three lead laps.
2002 – Mark Martin holds off a charging Kenseth to win Roush Fenway’s fourth consecutive Coca-Cola 600 as the two finish one-two in the prestigious event. Martin led 44 laps and Kenseth 21 in the race.